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Few of Germany's unemployed willing to move for work

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Few of Germany's unemployed willing to move for work
Photo: DPA
17:50 CEST+02:00
Very few recipients of Germany's Hartz-IV unemployment benefits are willing to move to find work, according to a study published on Monday.

The survey by the Institute for Labour Market and Career Research at the Federal Labour Agency in Nuremburg showed only a third of those on the dole would be prepared leave where they currently live for a job.

Two thirds of those asked would, however, endure a long journey to work and unfair pay. Additionally, many would take a job below their level of qualification.

The study also revealed that those unemployed people surveyed believe hourly wages should average no less than €6.29. Jobless fathers regarded a minimum hourly payment of €7.58 as indispensable.

The so-called Hartz-IV reforms have been in place in Germany since January 2005, combining benefits for long term unemployment and social welfare benefits. The current level stands at €351 per month, to which the cost of “adequate” housing is added. Receipt of the benefits is contingent upon the individual agreeing to a contract detailing their obligations in looking for a job, allowing for freedom of movement, marriage and family.

To encourage recipients of these unemployment benefits to make greater concessions to get back into work, the study suggested, among other things, subsidising wages. The unemployed should also be offered extra training in new jobs to increase their chances of taking up better positions.

The study also showed that for many of the unemployed, problems don’t stem in any way from a lack of initiative, and that it is often personal circumstances that hinder the search for work. Lack of sufficient childcare was a particular cause of difficulty for many seeking employment.

"Moblilsation of the work force means more than simple encouragement and must be addressed according to individuals problems," the researchers said in a statement.

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